There have been strong reactions to the Ann Mawathe story that featured a pregnant woman in labour trying to get admitted to hospital. Unfortunately, the woman lost her child in the process.
The issues of balancing humanity and media ethics has been discussed to it’s death. This has prompted a former journalist to speak up and put everything in context.
Wahome Thuku, the dude who predicted the tragic tanker explosion in Naivasha was a journalist before he changed careers.
Wahome explained that as a journalist in the field, you constantly have to weigh your options.
“SINCE 1998 to around 2006, I was a hotspot field journalist (being where the action is). I covered some of the most bloody events. YOU may like it or not, but such a journalist is required to either lose part of his heart and soul or resign and join the Red Cross. One time I was deployed to Kibera slums where Luos and Nubians were slaughtering each other like goats over land. It was my bloodiest two-day assignment. We kept the trail of about 100 GSU officers.
I remember finding one man whose legs and hands had been freshly cut off by a mob. The quick-moving police officers passed and left him there crying out in pain. I suggested to colleagues that we could take him to hospital and was told to pick him up and take him myself. “Kama police wamemuacha hapo wewe ni nani?” Our crew filmed, we took photos and hurried to catch up with the police. Uachwe nyuma oune. On the way back he we found him dead. I have been to shootout scene and watched people die as we filmed. I saw even Catholic sisters step forward to give them sacrament on their last breath. It’s life my friend,” Wahome said
“Journalists have a job to do and when they offer help they are only going out of their way. That story about Kevin Carter, we debated it daily at the school of journalism way back in 2001, and its still debated to date and will be debated for years so its nothing new. That has never stopped journalists world over from recording people in distress from a distance. Its the nature of the work no matter what you feel. The story has to be recorded. So yes, blame your government for the doctors strike. And while at it, take time to go to the public hospital near you, pick up two or three patients needing emergency service and take them to the nearest private clinic,” Wahome concluded